For the first time in the United States, the San Francisco prosecutor's office has announced an amnesty for some 3 000 criminal records. They concern the residents of the city since 1975 for minor marijuana offenses.
San Francisco will activate the new California legislation retroactively, leading to the suppression of thousands of criminal proceedings accumulated over the past 40 years for the possession or use of cannabis.
District Attorney George Gascon has announced on Monday that the amnesty would cover several decades.
This decision will result in the release of thousands of residents who have had charges in the past and no longer harm the prospect of finding a job and being eligible for government benefits.
"A criminal conviction can be a barrier to employment, housing and other subsidies," he argues.
Instead of leaving this process to the courts, Gascon announced that the San Francisco District Attorney's Office would do it for its residents. This will save time and money.
Eliminate minor inferences
According to Gascon, the Claims Department will remove more than 3 000 cannabis charges accrued from 1975. Prosecutors will review cases and, if necessary, 4 940 lockers will be re-evaluated.
"Instead of waiting for people to sign a petition for the community to demand, we decided to do it ourselves," he said. "We believe it's the right thing to do, so we do it."
However, those who have a criminal history regardless of cannabis will not be entitled to such a remedy. The elimination of minor offenses will be the priority.
"We still have a lot of work to do and we will be able to better assess the situation from the beginning of the work and I hope that the elected representatives will follow the same path," said Mr. Gascon.
California residents have confirmed the complete legalization of cannabis in an 2016 referendum. This also concerns the opening of the stores. Since the beginning of the year, dozens of stores have opened and legal trade has also begun in San Francisco.